Jun/22/12 08:22 AM
A well-timed week off hopefully will pay dividends for the Tri-Cities Fever tonight when it opens the Indoor Football League playoffs against the Colorado Ice at Toyota Center.
With injuries to key personnel like guard Ryan Tolar (staph infection), running back Dennis Kennedy (knee) defensive lineman Jake Killeen (knee) and defensive back Lionell Singleton (back), the Fever would not have been at full strength had there been a game on the schedule.
If Tolar is unable to play, Shackleford has a backup plan. The Fever signed lineman Chris Rutledge (6-5, 311) on Tuesday. Rutledge played at the University of Miami and spent time with the Baltimore Ravens.
The Fever finished the regular season with a 12-2 record and won the Intense Conference. The Ice (8-6), which comes into the matchup on a two-game slide, has given Tri-Cities fits both times they played this season.
Tri-Cities beat Colorado 64-50 in Kennewick, and 52-49 in overtime on the road.